Tai Chi – The Perfect Exercise


Tai Chi – The Perfect Exercise is an introduction to, and argument for, the relevance of tai chi in the modern world. Written with a novelist’s voice and augmented by fine-art, black-and-white photographs and clear instructional diagrams, the book introduces this ancient, Taoist practice enjoyed by millions worldwide as a curative, longevity practice, a spiritual path, a way to combat stress, and a practical martial art.

I am totally fascinated by Arthur Rosenfeld’s Tai Chi: The Perfect Exercise. I tried to relate some of his saying in the book to my Tai Chi students but only found that I was inadequate. So I brought the book to the classroom instead. I read one short paragraph to students, which says, “Before we have any experience with the art, many of us move as if made of two big glass marbles, one sitting atop of the other in a jar full of glue. During the first year of practice the glue turns to honey and marbles shrink and multiply as we learn to sink, relax, ad turn. After another year or two of practice the honey becomes less viscous and our marbles become polished ball bearings, making every gesture more subtle and our foundation stable. Little by little, and with more time and practice, we reduce our ball bearings to sand. Newly dense and precise in our movements, we quiet our mind with meditation until we can feel how the turning of even one grain of sand affects the rest. [Read the entire review here] Violet Li

The Tai Chi Examiner

In Tai Chi—The Perfect Exercise: Finding Health, Happiness, Balance, and Strength, tai chi master and Taoist monk Arthur Rosenfeld presents the fundamentals of this martial art, explains how tai chi builds optimal health, and shows how this ancient practice is still relevant and useful in our modern lives. The first Westerner to receive monk’s robes at China’s Chun Yang Temple, Rosenfeld is one of the foremost experts on tai chi outside of Asia. He explains how Taoist philosophy, Chinese martial arts, and traditional Chinese medicine form the three pillars of tai chi, an ancient art that calms minds, tones muscles, and heals bodies through controlled, strength-building movements paired with guided meditation.

Into Mountains, Over Streams


In Tai Chi – The Perfect Exercise, Arthur Rosenfeld draws from modern newsfeeds and a multitude of personal colorful anecdotes to illuminate this time-honored art. He brings a charmingly refreshing voice to the study and practice of Tai Chi.

Gene Ching, Associate Publisher, Kung Fu Tai Chi magazine & KungFuMagazine.com

Arthur Rosenfeld has a lifelong love of Chinese culture. Not only has he seriously studied Tai Chi and Taoist philosophy under me for many years, he has also traveled widely to experience different aspects of Chinese culture. I strongly recommend this book.

Max Yan, Tai Chi Master

Arthur Rosenfeld has written the most accessible book on Tai Chi I’ve seen. Its benefits are scientifically proven and I’ll be recommending this to my patients young and old.

Mark Lachs, MD, MPH, Professor of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College

After my own decades of attempting to convey in ordinary English the deep and subtle insights of the Taoist traditions, I can appreciate the masterful contribution Arthur Rosenfeld had made with his Tai Chi: The Perfect Exercise. He brings sharp clarity to a subject too often shrouded in mystery and confusion.

Guy Leekley, author of Tao Te Ching: A New Version for All Seekers

Through stories, reflections and history lessons, Arthur walks with us on a path that makes us question much of what we assume about exercise, health, values and being. Tai chi is his theme, but his lessons are about living. You may find yourself looking for a local tai chi master when you are done, but you may also find yourself examining your life and your routines, inspired and empowered to make deep and healthy changes.

Stephen Rosenfeld, M.D., M.B.A, Institutional Review Board Chair

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More Praise…

“Whether you’re a man or a woman, beauty starts from within. Trust Arthur Rosenfeld’s easy-to-understand mind/body exercises to reduce your stress, increase your fitness, and transform you inside to out.”

—Peter Thomas Roth, CEO, Peter Thomas Roth Labs


“Arthur Rosenfeld is one of the most special and genuine voices in the arts today. Not persuaded by fame, attention or self-congratulatory actions; he walks a path that is unique, winding and full of discoveries, surprises and truth, not just for himself but for those lucky enough to align themselves with him.”

—Del Weston, Martial Artist, Producer, Writer, and Director


“Rosenfeld’s Tai Chi is as unique a contribution to the martial art as Bruce Lee’s Tao of Jeet Kune Do was to his. This muscular work weaves history and modernity with philosophy and combat to create a tapestry that transcends all disciplines. Tai Chi will travel with you regardless of where you go and regardless of whether you take it.”

—Cameron Conaway, author of Caged: Memoirs of a Cage-Fighting Poet


“Arthur Rosenfeld is rightfully one of the foremost Tai Chi masters in this country if not the world. This mastery has spiraled into his writing. Although a Zen teacher, I have practiced Tai Chi for many years. This book has illumined my practice and offers fresh teaching examples in the areas of breath and energy that I can share with my students. I’m highly appreciative of his contribution with this work.”

—Mitchell Doshin Cantor, Sensei, The Southern Palm Zen Group


“Rosenfeld’s book will improve your health and your mind. Easy and fun to read, it is filled with uplifting stories, lots to make you think about the world and plenty of easy-to-follow practical fitness advice. A delight.”

—Graeme Maxton, bestselling author and Fellow of the Club of Rome


“There are any number of exercise programs that lead to weight loss, improved fitness, and greater self-confidence. Tai chi, however, calls to a particular audience:

“It is the perfect art for the seeker – the person who has an abiding sense that contrary to the shallow, hurried model we’re asked to embrace, there exists a deep resource-rich alternative.”

In other words, tai chi is more than a physical exercise program. Yes, it can do all those wonderful things that calisthenics or spinning or aerobic dance did for us, but tai chi brings something else to the table< “a deeper … understanding of the world and our place in it.”

In Tai Chi: The Perfect Exercise, Arthur Rosenfeld explains the history of tai chi and its development along with traditional Chinese medicine and Taoist philosophy. Rosenfeld covers his subject with knowledge drawn from his own study, training, and experience. He has a lengthy and honorable background in martial arts and is, in fact, an ordained Taoist monk as well as a Tai Chi Master of The Year. He hosts his own television program on PBS, and his writings on the subject of tai chi have appeared in a slew of prominent magazines. In short, Rosenfeld is as credible an expert on the topic as you’re likely to find.

No book, however well-written, can actually teach tai chi; to truly understand this art, one needs a present and living teacher as well as a personal experience of tai chi energy. Nevertheless, Tai Chi: The Perfect Exercise provides illustrated poses, each clearly described and explained. Readers with no background in tai chi may be confused by what appears to be a static set of positions, so it is absolutely necessary to supplement this book with live instruction or, at the very least, a video demonstration of tai chi practice.

The basics of related topics are also explained here—qi, qigong, kung fu, varying styles of tai chi—as are the many health benefits associated with a steady tai chi practice. In every chapter, readers will learn through a set of Explorations about the movement itself as well as the effects and expected benefits.

Despite the unavoidable limits of the printed page, Tai Chi: The Perfect Exercise goes far beyond the superficial approach aimed only at grabbing the latest fitness fad. It is a tremendously valuable resource for those who want a deeper understanding of tai chi and the philosophy that supports it.”

–From the reveiw site, “Curled Up with a Good Book”